Helen Brahms from Cruise Planners and Kasey Kiwi from Helen’s New Zealand will be hosting the 2015 Annual New Zealand Cruise onboard the beautiful Celebrity Solstice departing on November 2, 2015. This 12-night cruise will be departing from Sydney, Australia and heading to Hobart, Tasmania before heading across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.
Your first view of New Zealand will be the amazing coastline of Fiordland. This is untouched natural beauty at its finest. We will get up close to this area by sailing three fiords Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds. As we enter the fiords keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals, penguins and other wildlife.
After we leave the beauty of the fiords we will sail around the bottom of the South Island to our first New Zealand port of call, Dunedin. Otherwise known as the Edinburgh of the South due to its Scottish influence. Some of the things you can see and do in Dunedin include Olveston House, Baldwin Street – the steepest street in the world, Albatross and Yellow-Eyed Penguin Colonies, and many other sights.
From Dunedin we head to Akaroa the gateway to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. Christchurch is a beautiful city and one of my favorites. Hagley Park is an amazing park to walk through and home to the beautiful botanical gardens. You could go punting on the Avon River, or see what life is like in Antarctica by visiting the International Antarctic Centre. Visit Re:Start Mall, the mall that was constructed out of shipping containers after the 2011 earthquake.
From Christchurch we head north to New Zealand’s capital Wellington. This is another favourite city of mine. Wellington has a gorgeous harbor and is home to Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. For the movie lovers Wellington is home to Peter Jackson and Weta Productions. You can visit Weta Caves, which is a museum and store for movie memorabilia from Weta Production films including Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong, Avatar, Chronicles of Narnia and many other movies. While exploring Weta Cave you can do the Windows into Workshop tour. This is a 45-minute behind the scenes look into Weta Productions and it is awesome! Sorry can’t tell you what goes on behind the red door, you have to visit and experience it for yourself.
Another great place to visit in Wellington is Zealandia. This is a natural reserve where you will see some of Kasey Kiwi’s cousins and other birds native to New Zealand. This reserve is pest free and is amazing with the work they do to help preserve the native birds in New Zealand.
From Wellington we will head north to Tauranga. This is the gateway to Rotorua, the cultural and geothermal area of New Zealand. Tauranga is also close to Kiwi360 which is the Kiwifruit center of New Zealand. Here you can learn about the different varieties of Kiwifruit, sample so Kiwifruit wine, maybe enjoy a Kiwifruit Sundae. For movie lovers the movie set Hobbiton is not far from Tauranga. If you want to walk and see some great views then you could climb Mount Maunganui. It is a small mountain that give amazing views over the Bay of Plenty and Tauranga. There are some great beaches around here to enjoy too.
After Tauranga we will head up to the Bay of Islands. The bay is home to 144 islands and one of the best places to go swimming with the Dolphins. There are excursions here where they take you out in the bay to swim with the dolphins in their natural habitat. The bay is also home to Russell the first capital of New Zealand and home to the whaling wars in the 1800’s. Waitangi is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on February 6, 1840. The Treaty was a land deal between the Maori and the European Settlers. From here you can also explore the Kauri forests. The Kauri are giant trees native to New Zealand. You could also enjoy sand boarding, this is where you get to boogie board down giant sand dunes. Maybe you could do a bus tour to Cape Reinga, the northern most point of New Zealand.
Our cruise then moves to the City of Sails, Auckland where our cruise will end on November 14, 2015. From here you have choices. You can either head to the airport and fly back to the USA, you can extend your stay in New Zealand with a customized adventure or you could join us for a 4-night extension.
Our optional 4-night package includes a tour of Auckland after disembarking from the ship. After the tour we will then be transferred to the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour hotel for the night. The next day, November 15 we will then transfer to the airport where we will fly to Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of the World where we will be staying at Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa. Early the next morning we will be up and heading to the historic Kawarau Bridge. This bridge is the world home to the Bungy Jump. This is where it all started by AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch in 1988. Kasey Kiwi and myself will bungy jump from the bridge. You have the option of just watching or facing your fears and jumping too. The choice is yours!
That evening we will be having a celebration dinner at the Skyline Restaurant with incredible views over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. The next day, Tuesday November 17 will be a free day where you can do whatever you like. There are many things in and around Queenstown for you to choose from or you can select to do nothing at all. You may decide to walk some of the trails around the area, go jet boating, hang gliding, parasailing, paragliding, play a round of golf, wine tasting, have a spa treatment or two, or shop. The choice is yours.
On Wednesday November 18 we will be flying back to Auckland to catch our flight back to the USA. You also have the choice again of extending your stay in New Zealand and visiting some other areas in New Zealand that you haven’t experienced yet.
To reserve your spot on Kasey Kiwi’s Annual New Zealand Cruise go to www.HelensNewZealand.com Space is limited so secure your spot now! If you would like more information about New Zealand then please fill in the form below and we will contact you.